Dear Editor:

On Saturday, Nov. 3, I walked into our post office and was shocked at the amount of discarded junk mail that was spilling out of the trashbins onto the floor and all over the counters.

Since I could hear postal employees behind the wall of PO boxes, I assumed bins would be emptied and the overflowing mail would be cleared up sometime that afternoon. On Sunday, the next day, I returned to find a sea of discarded junk mail all over the floor for the whole length of the corridor, 50 times worse than the day before. My jaw dropped at such a sight in our hometown post office.

Then I noticed a lone female figure feverishly filling black plastic bags with the trash. It was Joanne Irons. She had already filled and tied eight bags, but had still only tackled a tenth of the mess.

I asked her why she chose to do this and her response was that it was so shameful to see such a mess in our post office, she felt she had to do something about it. While we spoke, a tall blonde lady came in and, dropping everything, began helping her as well.

I am not writing this letter to ask why the post office had not arranged to accommodate the disposal of seasonal increases in junk mail, or why our citizens continued throwing their trash on the ground instead of taking it home, or, indeed, why there was so much junk mail in the first place. No, I am writing to ask you to tell Pagosa Springs, what many already know — that Joanne Irons is a model citizen and sets an example for us all.

Chris Pike


Dear Editor:

When I stopped listening … “If you don’t have enough money to pay for college, borrow it from your parents.” (Mitt Romney.)

That one statement summed it all up. He doesn’t have a clue about working families. I lost both of my parents when my children were of pre-school age. Among my father’s final advice to me was this: “Whatever else you do for your children, be sure they get a good education.” My father’s wealth was his wisdom, not much money.

Over the years, our family was like most — living from payday to payday, nothing left for “savings.” We were young, worked hard, provided basic needs and vacations were always camping ones. But, we always put their education first and throughout their public school years, all three were honor students, very responsible. But, there was no money for college and my father’s words were still with me. We could help them a little; they took summer jobs, but without the federal student loan program, our little family would not have had the opportunity to include an educator, a physician and a company CEO.

Our children are the American Dream and they have been and are good taxpayers and contribute heartily to their communities — a huge return for that federal loan which was paid in full a few years after they graduated.

Patty Tillerson

This story was posted on November 19, 2012.